Nine-year-old cancer surviver from Saffron Walden sailed around the Solent

Nine-year-old Ernie Brown sailed around the Solent.

Nine-year-old Ernie Brown sailed around the Solent. - Credit: Archant

An inspirational nine-year-old from Saffron Walden has completed a four-day yachting adventure with a charity.

Ernie Brown has sailed the Solent, the 20 mile strip that separates the Isle of Wight from the mainland of England, with 17 other young people recovering from cancer.

He was treated for bilateral retina blastoma, cancer of both eyes, at Addenbrookes Hospital until January 2010 and has finished his treatment there.

There were four boats on the trip with the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, who aim to re-build confidence in children diagnosed with cancer through sailing.

The expeditions test them in a safe and supportive environment.

On August 15 he set off from East Cowes Marina on the Isle of Wight, taking a route through Yarmouth Harbour, Newtown Creek bay, and Cowes.

Ernie, who before this month had never sailed before, said: “I heard about the trip through a nurse at the hospital, I wanted to try it because it sounded really cool, and now I never want to leave.

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“It makes me really happy and proud when I push myself and see what I can achieve. I really liked the way that there were only four young people on each boat because everyone got on really well.”

Sailors must be between eight and 24 to be eligible for a sailing trip through the charity.

Dame Ellen, founder of the trust, said: “The mental and social fall-out from cancer can be just as devastating as the physical illness.

“Everything we do is about building confidence, self-esteem and having fun together.”